Even as our country continues to manage its way out of some tough economic times, everyone continues to be effected and find new ways to solve old problems. Including students who are facing budget cuts and coping with the complications in interesting ways.
This spring the Los Angeles Unified School District (2nd largest school district in the nation) launched the My Bright Idea Challenge asking their community to suggest ways that district could save money and run more resourcefully. Winning ideas were selected and each winning contributor received a trophy and the ability to choose how $3,000 of the LAUSD budget to go towards a school of their choosing. The ideas included reducing paper documents by implementing technology that allowed for online signatures from parents or a 5k fundraiser while also receiving numerous other suggestions that LAUSD can now implement in the coming years.
Or how about collegiate education where students with great ideas for research and study no longer have the opportunity to apply to their universities for funding? A group of graduate students setting out on a scientific Alaskan expedition to study predators and other wildlife as part of their studies started a Kickstarter campaign asking for $10,000 to enable them to cover the costs of travel, housing, equipment and analyses as they research everything from bald eagles to wild bears. Just yesterday, that group of researchers met their $10,000 goal and will be traveling to Alaska in the coming months and reporting on their research as it unfolds.
That’s innovation on the part of school districts, students, and the community that supports them.
What other ways can crowdsourcing help our children looking to learn? How can we make our schools more sustainable?